Can using a decent string help compensate a little for a low end racquet?

Discussion in 'Strings' started by robbo1970, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I am an intermediate player, don't hit the ball particularly hard and try and play an all court game.

    I have a thread in the racquets section, asking questions about a suitable 'quality' replacement racquet for the current low end titanium Prince racquet I currently have.

    I will follow the route of getting a new racquet but I was wondering whether having better strings in the current racquet may improve its playability.

    I was only thinking of something like a synthetic gut, nothing too expensive.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Strings will only help you a certain amount. For an intermediate player, the difference between $45 natural gut and a $3-4 synthetic gut is almost none (except for the fact that you can't use natural gut in the rain). I think your best route is use synthetic gut on your present racquet, and replace the racquet when you feel you are ready.
     
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  3. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the advice Ramon, much appreciated and that sounds a perfectly sensible route to take.

    I think one of the bigger questions here, is whether an intermediate (twice a week player)such as myself, is really going to be able feel the difference between different types of string? I can appreciate those who play a lot and play to a very reasonable standard can feel the difference between natural and synthetic gut and titanium alloy and graphite. I just wonder if I can.
     
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  4. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    No. Racquet is first and foremost, strings second. The strings let you get the best out of your racquet making them the most important thing you can change in your equipment. Your equipment therefore already includes a racquet. People like to use the car analogy where the strings are vitally important because they're like the tires: only the strings contact the ball and only the tires contact the road. I agree with that completely. However, putting semi-slicks on my Civic is not going to be as effective as having a S2000 on all-seasons. The chassis comes first, then you choose the rubber to suit. The tires therefore can make or break the car, but you still need the proper base. Much like in the car analogy: the racquet is the only thing that YOU touch, so the feeling sent down it to your body depends hugely on what type it is.
     
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  5. gmatheis

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    #5
  6. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    The "decent" strings sometimes play worse than the budget strings. Budget strings like Prince Orig. Syn. Gut actually play really well.

    As for cheap racquets, the stuff you normally find in the big box stores may cost more than a really good racquet used. Used racquets that aren't completely destroyed will play pretty much just like a new racquet. Often you find racquets used for just a few hours for a half or even a third of what they costed new.
     
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  7. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I also vote for going synthetic gut. Prince, Gamma, Babolat, they all have fine syn guts for little money. With a cheap racquet, your priorities should be inexpensive string and figuring out the best string tension to achieve your goals.
     
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  8. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    You obviously have not been to a NASA PT or TT event..... =P
     
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  9. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I was actually an SCCA member until last year. All things being equal, better footwear will let you get the most out of your car that is possible. However, having a chassis which is all around superior will still be faster. You take a Civic Si on Neovas and a WRX on Primacys, and I'm putting my money on the Subaru every single time.

    This is why it's so analogous to tennis equipment. People spend hundreds of dollars trying to find the right string to suit their game, but the frame remains the same. The reason is clear: unless the base is right, there is no point in trying to extract the most out of it. I promise you, give me gut/poly in my old AG100 and syn gut in my 4D200T and I will play the better match with the syn gut stick. The frame just suits my game so much better that even though I used to play with the AG100, I just don't play as well. This isn't a hypothetical example, I actually did this back in the spring. :)
     
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  10. Readers

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    IMO this is completely false, if nothing else, the NG reduce the chance of getting injured since it's the most arm friendly thing out there.(IMO does more than a soft frame). Also the power and feel are on completely different level too. Also intermediate players don't break string, so gut lasts forever, SG goes died in a few month you break it or not.

    There are only 2 things I think are close, control and spin.
     
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  11. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the opinions.

    I think a new frame is in order and then perhaps try some syn guts.

    p.s. A Civic on slicks sounds like fun lol
     
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  12. Valjean

    Valjean Hall of Fame

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    When this question is asked a bit differently--specifically, when it is asked whether to replace strings in pre-strung racquets--the answer invariably is to change the string.

    IMO, it should be the same here....
     
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  13. fortun8son

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    That depends on how cheap the racquet is.
    If it's one of those ultra cheapos with a separate throatpiece, don't waste your money.
    I tell people to think of those as disposables.
     
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  14. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I have a very sensitive arm. I've played with both syngut and natural gut. The difference in arm-friendliness is marginal at best for the 4.5+ player. It's very rare that you'll find someone who can play with NG and not SG. Intermediate players have much slower swings, so the difference to them will be slim to none.

    I don't agree that natural gut lasts forever. Contrary to the BS the natural gut fans spread, gut does lose tension. My last set of gut lost about 18% tension before it broke (measured by RacquetTune), and gut is prone to changes in climate (which contributes to tension loss and premature breakage), so it won't last forever. Even if you change SG twice a year and NG once a year, the cost advantage still goes to SG. SG lasts a long time with intermediate players because they don't hit the ball that hard. My dad is a 3.0 senior player. He breaks his SG strings about once/yr, and his arm is fine.
     
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  15. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Get yourself a good used nCode for 30-40 bucks.
     
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  16. Readers

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    Everyone is very different. I knew 3.0 who play with 2 year old poly on a 20 year old frame and he's fine.

    I am not saying NG don't lose tension, I am saying they don't go dead, SG goes dead in a few month, I see no reason why you can keep SG for half a year but must restring NG every year if they don't break.

    Consider stringing is around $15 in most place if not higher, the number is definitely on NG side, if you do not string yourself, and vast majority of intermediate players do not.
     
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  17. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Where I live you can get SG strung for $20 and NG for $60. When I was a kid in tennis camp (12 year old kids don't hit the ball that hard), I recall times where other kids' NG would break on their own (maybe left out in the rain or in a wet bag), and one time when it was played shortly after stringing and lost ALL tension (I mean it would literally sag). That kind of stuff doesn't happen with SG. 3.0 players would probably be more likely to replace NG for not being careful than to replace SG for breaking it during play. I've played with racquets that had SG on them for over a year. Believe me, poly after 3 hours is worse.
     
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  18. Readers

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    I do, I can't even stand fresh poly right off the machine.

    IMO you can't compare the NG, which you don't even know/can't recall to a high end NG that cost 60 strung. The one I currently playing only cost $45 strung, and I don't have any of the problems.


    Again, everyone's experience varies, I never had to replace NG in less than 4 month for any reason other than stringer's mistake. Nor I ever had it snap on me for no reason. Of course I take very good care of my gears.

    But all that aside, saying NG are no different from SG for a 3.0 is not correct, they play very very differently.
     
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  19. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I would love it if natty gut lasted me 4 months. I would even love it if it lasted me 4 weeks.

    Anyway, for the topic, it's probably not a good idea to use walmart stuff with decent strings and vice versa. I would say get a good used racquet and string it with a good syn gut like Prince or Gosen. If you want a really soft setup string it with Pro Supex Maxim Touch. Tennis doesn't have to be expensive to have high performance gear. Once you find a string you like then buy it in reels when you see it on sale. Reels of Gosen OG Sheep Micro probably cost less than the shipping.
     
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  20. fortun8son

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    C'mon guys.
    You're not really telling the OP to put gut in a cheap-*** racquet, are you?
     
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  21. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    I'm certainly not. If there was such a thing as a tennis doctor, and he told an intermediate player to put natural gut in a cheap racquet, he would be sued for malpractice! :lol:
     
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  22. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    The racquet is not a real cheapo with a plastic throat.

    It looks just like a standard graphite racquet. One piece frame, very well finished. It just happens to be made of fusionite alloy, although I'm not really sure what that means.

    And I doubt at my level I would feel the difference between nylon or syn gut.

    This is the racquet

    http://racketworld.co.uk/product/RW008733/Prince+Titan+Ti+Tennis+Racket+L3

    If you enlarge the picture you will see it is one piece.
     
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  23. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    If you use PV's analogy, paying for natural gut would be like paying more for the tires than for the car. I'm a 4.5 level player, and I'm not even sure if natural gut improves my game that much more than syngut. It has a better feel and is more comfortable, but if I don't think about what I'm playing with, my shots are fine either way. Cheap synguts will last me about 6-8 hours, but for my 3.0 senior level father they will last about a year.
     
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  24. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I have used various racquets over the years, from wooden ones, to alloys and a couple of graphites. All pre-strung and I have never had a string break or had to re-string.

    I only play about twice a week at weekends, but I am just trying to get the best out of that time I do play.

    I wondered if better strings would improve the feel of my shots, but it sounds like I probably wouldnt notice the difference, which is partly due to the standard I play at.
     
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  25. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    Robbo, I would suggest trying other people's racquets to see if they feel any different than your current frame. I am not familiar with that frame, but I can only say that racquet construction plays a big part in how a racquet performs and responds to the impact. For example, if it doesn't effectively absorb the various vibrations that result it could aggravate your arm and/or shoulder. If other frames just seem to feel and play better, then look for a new frame, new or used.

    If your frame performs just as well as the current crop of typical racquets then you should find a string that works for you. If you never break strings I would put a decent, inexpensive multi in like Tecnifibre MultiFeel and go play lots of tennis. I still recommend changing strings every now and then as they seem to play differently as they age. Resist the urge to put in a poly string as it will die but never break and play horribly and put more pressure on your arm and/or shoulder.

    Last words of advice, don't go it alone, try to find a few good hitting partners who also know how to manage the gear involved, or better, get a good hitting coach to guide you along with both technique and gear choices.
     
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  26. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Ken. There is a guy who runs one of the courts local to me who teaches kids. I will ask him if he will give some advice to this overgrown schoolboy.

    I'm pretty sure he has a lot of 'spare' rackets so I might see if I can have a play with some of those and see how they feel.

    Although I am borderline beginner/intermediate, I am sure a racquet with matching spec to mine but made of graphite is going to feel better.
     
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  27. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Don't forget, old Honda's had a wishbone layout whereas Subaru's have a McPherson Strut layout......A better analogy would be an EK9 Civic on 275/35/15 A6's vs. a WRX on Walmart Specials. My money's on the Civic.
     
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  28. Readers

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    No one ever suggested put gut on cheap frame. I am just pointing out it's completely false to say NG and SG are the same to a 3.0
     
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  29. Readers

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    The best way is get a good frame then consider put in gut. Although the $$$ :twisted::twisted:
     
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  30. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You are just too difficult haha.

    And although I like the enthusiasm, 275 is far too wide. You'd have just about zero steering response. 225s would be plenty sufficient with that small sidewall. :D
     
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  31. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    That kinda begs the question, what is low-end racquet? Are you talking about Wally-World quality?
     
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  32. fortun8son

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    That's what I was getting at. The very low end racquets are not worth restringing, however, one that is a step or so above can certainly benefit from a fresh set of syngut instead of the old 'Tournament Nylon' strings that probably came with it.
    A mid price multi like Sensation would probably feel pretty nice, too.
     
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  33. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    Haha, well I'm not the only one. Hasport's CRX runs 275's in the front (sticking out of the fenders) and 225's in the rear. But I digress, too much tuner talk in a low end racquet thread.
     
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  34. robbo1970

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    I can tell if I'm digressing with this post because I'm not talking about Honda's lol.

    Its not a real low end one, to look at it you wouldnt know it was fusionite alloy, it looks just like graphite. you can zoom in on the picture in the link I gave earlier. I just wonder whether I would do better to upgrade.
     
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  35. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Oh come on, we're not talking drag here, this is circuit racing :D

    Ivo Karlovic : drag :: Roger Federer : circuit
     
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  36. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Considering fusionite (whatever the heck that is) is just a marketing name, yes, I would start playtesting more advanced frames instead of putting expensive strings into a racquet which is below your playing level.
     
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  37. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    They run that car around Streets of Willow among other cali tracks........
     
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  38. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Ohhhh, I thought you were talking about their drag car that was on Pinks.


    OP, I am sorry this has been derailed. Or is it detuned? :D
     
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  39. souledge

    souledge Semi-Pro

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    I think it's the same car, different suspension and no wheelie bars on the road course.
     
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  40. robbo1970

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    Your subject is more interesting than mine :)

    Ive decided I need as better racquet, so lets carry on with cars :)
     
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  41. UCSF2012

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    Come one, black folks put 5k rims on a 1k Civic all the time. Gets you from A to B all the same.

    Cheap doesn't mean crap. Those sub-$100 Dunlops are quality frames. With free shipping and free strings, why not?
     
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  42. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I actually have stock rims on my Si, but thank you for showing us your good side.
     
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  43. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    I'm pretty sure those rims weren't even close to 5k.
     
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  44. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    You missed the point by so much it might as well not have even been there.
     
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  45. robbo1970

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    Thats right, I can get most Dunlop Bio's for £60 pre-strung and that makes them very good value when you consider some pro's apparantly use them.
     
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  46. filphil

    filphil Rookie

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    I wasn't referring to you PV. You had the first part of UCSF's post under wraps.
     
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  47. A Defenseless Creature

    A Defenseless Creature Semi-Pro

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    I'd rather play an average frame with a good string job than a great frame with crappy strings. The strings, IMO, are the most important piece of equipment you are taking on the court. Depending on how "low end" we are talking in regard to the frame, most likely the strings will indeed help.
     
    #47
  48. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Ah, my apologies. :)
     
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  49. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Its this one.

    http://racketworld.co.uk/product/RW008732/Prince+Titan+Ti+Tennis+Racket+L2

    Its not the lowest end racquet, its very well made and looks like graphite, it just happens to be alloy.
     
    #49
  50. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    OP, there is a very simple way to find out. GO to your local pro shop and test a bunch of tweener frames. THe racquet you posted is for beginning players or those who do not generate their own power. A tweener frame is one which helps your strokes be more effective for what you put in. Give us some background on your playing style. Are you playing matches, simply hitting, have a variety of strokes, etc. Since there is no NTRP rating outside of the US, what's your average rally length? Your strengths? Weaknesses?
     
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